Newport Area Communicators and Media Talk Industry Trends, Pitching Tips

November 19, 2010

by Amy Yen, Marketing Specialist, Business Wire LA

Last week, Business Wire Newport Beach held a media breakfast for more than 70 Orange County area communicators and PR professionals to discuss trends in the media industry and tips for reaching out to Newport area media.

>>Download a full audio recording of this event here.

The panel of Orange County/Inland Empire media members included (left to right, pictured with Business Wire Newport Regional Sales Manager Tasha Huang, far right):

Here are some of the insights provided by the panelists:

Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press:

  • On trends in the news industry: Social media, interactive and mobile remain on the rise. The AP is active on all three of these fronts. They’ve trained their reporters to get video and also supply footage to broadcast media. Multimedia is very important to them, and while they often have their own photographers in the field, photos with press releases are especially important if they are images the reporters cannot easily get themselves.
  • Mobile has revolutionized the news industry. The AP has been extremely aggressive about adapting to mobile. AP Mobile is a very popular news app for BlackBerry and iPhone.
  • The AP is on Facebook and Twitter and has also been experimenting with blogging. Many of their beat reporters have their own Twitter accounts and that is one way to find them.
  • When pitching to the AP in Southern California, your best bet is usually to send it to the Los Angeles bureau, as the Orange County bureau is very small. Their reporters share information all the time with each other, so if it’s relevant to a specific region, it will be passed along to them.

Lisa Liddane, Coast Magazine & OrangeCounty.com:

  • Reporting is starting to be very personality-driven. The lines in objective reporting are blurring as trends like blogging become more popular.
  • The best way to reach Coast Magazine is email. Be very clear in your subject line. It’s very helpful to you to find a local angle and include it in your pitch.
  • Know who you are pitching to and what their publication schedule is. For example, a print magazine versus daily newspaper or broadcast news.
  • Print publications like Coast Magazine need high res photos at 300 DPI. If you don’t have a high res picture, sometimes they can still use a lower resolution one for online.

Jerry Sullivan, Orange County Business Journal:

  • Do the research to find the right reporter to target. For the OCBJ (and many publications), you can find reporters by the beat they cover on the publication website.
  • Look for trends or a local angel to incorporate your company or news into. For example, the OCBJ is interested in stories about media companies buying smaller companies, or stories involving local executives.
  • Press releases can lead to media coverage in roundabout ways. They might just call attention to your company and cause a reporter to look into them when they otherwise wouldn’t have thought to.
  • When including photos with your release, identify the people in the photo left to right whenever possible.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Upcoming Business Wire Events – Oct. 27 Edition

October 27, 2010

Upcoming Business Wire EventsJoin Business Wire experts in your area for media breakfasts, panel discussions and other insightful events. We bring local media members and industry thought leaders to your market to discuss today’s most relevant topics, from writing for SEO to marketing with social media. Best of all, Business Wire events are usually free of charge. Check out some of our upcoming events in your area:

Does Your Tweet Count? Journalists and a PR Professional Talk

Hosted by Business Wire Nashville

Join us for lunch and an opportunity to meet members of Nashville-area media, and participate in a discussion on how reporting has evolved amid the popularity of social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Paul Kuharsky from ESPN.com and Amy Napier Viteri with WKRN-TV will be discussing how social media has affected traditional news reporting while Rob Robinson of McNeely Pigott & Fox will be providing his own unique insight on pitching stories from a public relations perspective. This event is free for all attendees.

Thursday, November 4 at 11:30 am CT
Maggiano’s Little Italy
3106 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203
Free valet or self-parking is available on-site

To register: Please RSVP by Friday, October 29 to denise.higgins@businesswire.com or call 615.661.6123.

Business Wire Media Breakfast

Hosted by Business Wire Newport Beach

Join Business Wire Newport Beach for free breakfast and a meet the media event. Speakers include: Gillian Flaccus, Orange County Correspondent, The Associated Press; Michele Gile, News Reporter, CBS/KCAL; Lisa Liddane, Editor at Large, Coast Magazine and Editor in Chief of OrangeCounty.com; and Jerry Sullivan, Managing Editor, Orange County Business Journal. This event is free for Business Wire members, $25 for all other guests with advanced RSVP and $35 at the door.

Thursday, November 11 at 8:00 am PT
The Island Hotel, Newport Beach
690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

To register: Please RSVP by Tuesday, November 9 to Kathy Tomasino at 949-757-1021 or email kathy.tomasino@businesswire.com

How to Increase your Website’s Ranking by Issuing Press Releases

Hosted by Business Wire Dallas

Join Business Wire for lunch and a discussion on the simple steps that will help your company’s website rank higher on Google, Yahoo and Bing by issuing press releases via Business Wire. Learn the #1 factor that search engines consider when ranking your website and why Google loves press releases, and get step-by-step instructions on how to easily optimize your releases so that Google sees your website as a popular and trusted source.  We’ll also discuss Business Wire’s exclusive SEO platform for boosting your search results long-term and how to combine your press release and social media efforts to boost search rankings. This event is free for Business Wire members and $10 for non-members.

Thursday, November 11 at 11:30 am CT
Providence Towers – Conference Room B – East Tower
5001 Spring Valley Road, Dallas, Texas 75244

To register: Please RSVP to Susie Wolan at 972-458-9555 or email susie.wolan@businesswire.com.

For more upcoming local Business Wire events or to see what’s coming up in our award-winning webinar series, visit http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/business-wire-events.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents

Please RSVP by Friday, October 29, 2010 to Business Wire via by email: denise.higgins@businesswire.com; or call 615.661.6123.

Orange County Editors Discuss Business Trends and Online Tools

August 18, 2009

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On August 12, Business Wire Newport Beach hosted a media breakfast on business trends and online tools enhancing local news publications and their websites. Business Wire Senior Vice President of Marketing Tom Becktold kicked off the discussion with a presentation on the new PR toolbox: how social media and other emerging strategies are affecting how brands communicate with their audiences.

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An in-depth look at three of Orange County’s major media outlets followed, presented by a panel of editors, including (left to right):

Among the tips and key points brought up by the panel:

  • Ms. Allen says that the Register is very much focused on the web first. Its reporters post breaking news and updates on stories as it happens online, then the print team pulls from those stories at the end of the day to craft the story for the newspaper itself. Since it began this strategy, OCRegister.com has doubled its page views year over year.
  • Ms. Allen also pointed out that, because of the focus on online, the OC Register has become very multimedia-oriented. Its photo desk is much more open to accepting photos and video from the public than it has been in the past, because while the paper has its team of photographers, they don’t produce enough photos for online use.
  • Ms. Borgatta presented some do’s and don’ts for pitching editors. Her don’ts included:
    • Don’t cold call an editor and launch directly into a pitch.
    • Don’t pitch an editor a story that has no relevance to the publication. Spin the story with an angle that may work with the publication.
    • Don’t, whatever you do, call an editor or publication by the wrong name.
  • Her do’s included:
    • Do start off a phone pitch by asking if the editor is on deadline.
    • Do be direct & to-the-point, whether it’s an email or phone pitch.
    • Do be a hero to the editor. If an editor needs to fill a hole, become someone they can count on to give them everything they need to supply a last minute story.
  • Mr. Lyster says that the OC Business Journal think of themselves like the Wall Street Journal of the Orange County area. They run similarly, with the largest companies based in the area receiving most of the coverage in the front pages.
  • Mr. Lyster notes that the OC Business Journal has found that, interestingly, the reason why local executives and CEOs is because they look at the Business Journal sort of like a community newspaper. While they can get their industry news from the national papers, trade publications and market research, they like to keep up with their fellow local company executives that live and work where they are. It almost feels like a high school newspaper, where the students are the CEOs and other executives.

Here are some audio clips from the event:

Rebecca Allen: “The OC Register is very web-focused.”

Michael Lyster: “Local executives look at the Business Journal like a community newspaper.”

Click here to download a complete audio recording of Tom Becktold’s talk on the new PR toolbox and here for a recording of the panel discussion.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR, SEO & media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.

Follow Business Wire events on Twitter! Hash tag #bwevents


Media Members Talk Recession, Share Tips for PR Pros

April 2, 2009

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Business Wire Newport Beach
recently hosted “Meet the Media: Communicating During the Recession,” a media breakfast featuring a panel of area media members discussing today’s media trends, how the media handles news-gathering and what the business and PR communities can do to improve their communications with publications, as well as how the uncertain economy affects both groups. More than 70 PR & IR professionals from Orange County and the Inland Empire took in the discussion, moderated by Business Wire Newport Beach Regional Manager Christie Brockhage and including panel members:

Here are some of the key takeaways from the panel:

  • It’s usually best to pitch a story to reporters as opposed to editors. Reporters have a natural instinct and passion for reporting news.
  • When reaching out to a reporter, always ask, “Are you on a deadline?” “Do you have time?” “Would this be a good time to talk?”
  • Don’t use company lingo when pitching. Make it as simple as possible for the reporter to understand your story. Don’t make them have to ask for further explanation.
  • With the current economy, business stories are very relevant. But media outlets don’t like to stack up the news with the same type of stories.
  • The recession, as well as the rise of news websites, have been very disruptive to the media, particularly large newspapers. The Internet is making TV old news, since, by the time the 6:00 news rolls around, everything there is to report is already online.
  • Media sources are countering with efforts like hyper-local journalism, such as a beta site launch for Saddleback Valley.
  • Additionally, there are now more opportunities for readers to “skip the middleman” by posting blog posts and events to media websites.

Local Business Wire offices host several events each year on PR, IR and media topics.  Check out the Business Wire Events page to find upcoming events in your area.


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